'A feeling I've never had before': Devlin enjoys special Hearts moment

The midfielder scored twice against Rosenborg in front of a joyous Tynecastle.

Hearts midfielder Cammy Devlin celebrated two crucial goals against Rosenborg and said he had enjoyedone of the best nights of his career.

The Premiership side needed to turn around a 2-1 first leg deficit against the Norwegians to reach the Europa Conference League play-off.

Rosenborg took an early lead through Isak Thorvaldsson but Lawrence Shankland drew Hearts level on the night at Tynecastle.

Hearts went ahead and levelled the tie on aggregate when Devlin struck after a Shankland lay-off and the Australian then sparked jubilant scenes when his deflected shot found the net in injury time to put Hearts though to face PAOK.

Devlin’s had only scored three times in the past two seasons, so his goal haul surprised even him, and he was determined to enjoy every moment.

“Yeah, that’s me done for the year, I think,” he said.

“The first one I just gambled and shanked it off the bar. We’ll take that. I think my first attempt was going out for a throw-in and when Shanks laid it off I thought ‘I’ve got to have another go, we can’t finish on that’.

“When it hit the back of the net, it was a feeling I’ve never had before and the roar inside that stadium was amazing.

“You’ve got to soak up these nights because football is full of ups and downs. When it’s an up you’ve got to really enjoy it and I think every single person within the stadium did that tonight.

“A European night at Tynecastle, it doesn’t get much better than that. To win in the 92nd minute and to be a goalscorer, it’s so special.  It’s safe to say it’s one of the best nights of my career.”

The midfielder thanked the fans for their backing and said that they had played their part in the success.

“I said yesterday that the crowd was going to be so important and that patience was going to be the key word, whether it took 90 minutes or penalties,” Devlin added.

“It’s about sticking in there and I know that all the boys did that and the crowd were unbelievable.

“They pay a lot of money to come here week in, week out, and it’s for nights like these.  That’s us giving back to them and they’re a big part of why we’re through.”

Hearts now face Partick Thistle in the Viaplay Cup on Sunday before taking on PAOK for a place in the Europa Conference League group stage.

Devlin hopes that the performance against Rosenborg has set the standard for the rest of the season after a slow start for the Tynecastle side.

“I think it’s important to set the bar high,” he said. “We haven’t started as well as we would have liked but in saying that we’ve had two clean sheets in the league. We obviously lost away (in Europe) last week.

“Tonight wasn’t about being pretty, it was about being through to the next round but we’re through and we’ll take that.

“We’ve got Sunday to deal with first and then obviously European games are always hard. We’ve just got to get ourselves ready and I’m looking forward to it.”

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